The restaurant officially opened Thursday at 6:30 a.m., but 100 people couldn't wait that long. They camped out in the restaurant's parking lot for chicken sandwiches. Not just one - but a year's worth.
One by one, 100 people who came from far and wide for their love of Chick-fil-A were awarded the ultimate prize:52 coupons for a free Chick-fil-A value meal. That's free Chick-fil-A for a year. The only catch was they had to be one of the first 100 in line and not leave until this morning. For many of these people...the overnight adventure at Chick-fil-A was nothing new.
"This is my sixth," said Daniel Breed, a Missouri resident.
"This was my 11th grand opening that I've been to. We love the food. The chicken. The people," said Heide Rewerts, a Naperville, Ill., resident.
They say camping out is part of the appeal. They brought their tents and plenty of activities to keep them busy until six Thursday morning.
"It was awesome. We had a blast. We had a great time. We met people form Alabama. People who are local," said Jamie Farrell, a Morton resident.
"A lot of these people I've seen numerous times before. We've all be to a lot of different Chick-fil-As too. I know a lot of them just because of Chick-fil-A," said Breed.
And with the Peoria Chick-fil-A opening behind them and their tents and belongings all packed up, these diehard Chick-fil-A fans will see these same faces again at the next restaurant opening. They don't miss this event for anything.
"It's kind of a way to have a little vacation," said Breed.
Chick-fil-A is open Monday through Saturday from 6-30a.m. to 10:30p.m.